This is an adaptation of The Flying Pizza using a Mary Berry recipe for Magic Chocolate Pudding (attached here is the actual recipe) that we used last Sunday for our Harvest Festival:

Preparation and materials

  • Magic Chocolate Pudding ingredients: butter, vanilla essence, caster sugar, cocoa powder, drinking chocolate powder, plain flour, baking powder and milk.
  • PowerPoint presentation to display ‘food miles’.

Love a cake!

Explain that when you’re feeling hungry it’s sometimes a treat to pop down to Tesco’s and get some magic chocolate pudding.  From here that’s just under 1.5 miles – it’s really quite simple if we get hungry to go and get some delicious cake.

Introduce the idea that the ingredients of magic chocolate pudding may have travelled far further. Explain by inviting a group of children to help place toppings on the prepared pizza base. Display the miles that the different ingredients have travelled. (Distances are approximate.)

  • Butter produced in Telford – 200 miles
  • Vanilla essence from Madagascar – 5,700 miles
  • Caster sugar from Brazil – 5,400 miles
  • Cocoa powder from the Ivory Coast – 4,550 miles
  • Drinking chocolate powder produced in Germany – 590 miles
  • Plain flour from North America – 5,400 miles
  • Baking powder from North America – 5,400 miles
  • Milk from Chichester in the UK – 50 miles

So the delicious dessert that you can pick up from ‘just around the corner’ has in fact flown an incredible distance of 27,290 miles around the world.

Remind the children that much of the food we take for granted has been produced in other parts of the world, travelling great distances to our plates. Encourage them to look at the labels of tins and packets as they shop. A group of children may present other examples of locally bought but globally produced food, e.g. tea, coffee, fruit.

Point out that on average vegetables travel 600 miles to your supermarket, some by plane, and all by lorry.

‘Food miles’ – that is the distance food is transported from producers to consumers (those who buy and eat it). Modern transport enables us to enjoy a world of food on our doorstep. The down side of this, however, is that much fuel is burned by the food industry, at a cost both to consumers and to the environment. Also, those who are food producers do not always receive fair prices from customers on the other side of the world.

Encourage everyone to use the occasion of a Harvest celebration to think about the varied origins of our food and the benefits and disadvantages of food that ‘travels miles’.

Click here for the PowerPoint from the talk.

Married to the amazing Sarah and raising Jakey, Daniel, Amelia, Josh & Jonah in our blended family. Passionate for Jesus, social work & sport.

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